Exploring celebrity, violence and masculinity in popular culture

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Hercules (1958)

New research by Dr Lindsay Steenberg will build on work focused on violence and gender in postmodern and postfeminist media culture.

Dr Steenberg’s latest research will concentrate on violence, celebrity and masculinity for a new book to be published under the proposed title The First Rule of Fight Club: Tracing the Gladiatorial Impulse in Visual Culture. The monograph is part of the publisher I.B. Tauris’ Gender and Popular Visual Culture series

This marks the start of an exciting new direction for Dr Steenberg’s research and builds on her established work on the crime genre.

Dr Steenberg joined Oxford Brookes in 2010 after receiving her PhD from the University of East Anglia where she wrote her thesis on forensic science and female investigators in crime film and television. Her research has expanded upon this work and covered a variety of areas including:  

  • American popular cinema, television and culture
  • Crime and action genres
  • Forensic science in popular culture
  • Violence on film
  • Feminism and postfeminism
  • Postmodernism
  • Crime tourism

Dr Steenberg, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes, is one of the recipients of the University’s Research Excellence Awards. The awards were launched last year as part of Oxford Brookes’ commitment to supporting research-active academics and in meeting the aims of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2016-2020.

Her Research Excellence Award will be instrumental in building a network of scholars to help with the development of the research, including input into the interdisciplinary methodological approach that is being designed. Having the support of a research assistant is also be invaluable to Dr Steenberg in setting up contacts and reaching out to existing networks which could input into this work.

This includes the design and development of an online presence for this community including for web and social media channels. The Research Excellence Award will also help with supporting Dr Steenberg in presenting findings at existing international conferences.

To date, Dr Steenberg has already been published widely on the subject of the crime genre, both on film and television. This includes authoring papers on masculinity, violence and simulation on reality television, martial arts in the cinema, and serialized television shows such as Game of Thrones. 

She is the author of Forensic Science in Contemporary American Popular Culture: Gender, Crime, and Science. Her research has been concerned with the visualisation of violence and the structures that are used to contain that violence – from the ‘Enlightened’ rationalism of forensic science to the spectacular displays of masculinity on reality and documentary television.

With her latest research focused on celebrity, violence and masculinity, Dr Steenberg will be further increasing our understanding in this area.